The day after Thanksgiving, we finally cut down the huge, obnoxious, ugly, leaning, cactus in our front yard.
I have always been anti-cacti. From the first moment that we saw our house on Zillow - before looking at it with a realtor, I said "That cactus would have to go." I have put up with it for a year now but it has finally met it's timely death.
Now, there are all kinds of rumors floating around that you can't cut down a Saguaro cactus because they are protected, or you can but you have to get a permit or pay a fee. No matter who I asked or where I looked online it seemed everyone had their own version of the law so I called the ADA to get some straight answers. It turns out that you don't need to do anything to cut one down if it is on your property and your parcel is less than 10 acres. The lady I talked to just said to cut it up in small enough pieces that no one would try to take it and plant it. (What!? Is that really a legitimate concern? Replanting cactus chunks?) Whatever. I then called the City of Phoenix to see if it would be alright to put it out with the bulk pick up. The person I talked to did not know and I was on hold for 35 minutes while she asked someone, but finally was given the green light so long as the chunks are put in boxes labeled "Cactus". Yep, seriously.
So, my dad came out with his chainsaw and he and Josh got right to work.
The cactus was so wet and slimy. The chainsaw spit cactus buggers out all over the place.
The audience - my cousin Justin was their too! He helped carry cactus chunks and entertained Jack.
There was a dead bird inside one of the many holes in the cactus. We (the girls and I) wanted to look at it and see it's skeleton. Everyone had to take turns holding it.
We also cut down an disgusting yucca, a few barrel cacti and a palm tree that day.
Our front yard is looking much better.
This year we were able to enjoy Halloween with all of our cousins so we wanted to do a group costume for all of them. Like always, these costume were put together from Goodwill items and/or homemade by me and my mom. Let's just say the Potato and Bo Peep were a labor of love.
When you have 8 kids and 7 of them are under the age of 6,
and 2 of them can't stand still if their lives depended on it,
and 1 can't sit up at all,
and 1 screams the entire picture session,
and 2 don't know how to smile....
this is the best group photo you can get.
Penny as Bo Peep's Sheep
Norah as Bo Peep
Josiah as Woody
Jack as The Claw Machine Alien
Paige as Mr Potato Head
Timothy as Buzz Lightyear
Claire as Jessie
Joy as Workout Barbie
The Saturday before Halloween everyone met at our house for dinner and pictures before heading over to our church's harvest carnival.
The kids loved it and let me just say that Jack in a bounce house is quite the sight.
On Halloween we went up to my brother's house in Anthem to take them trick or treating.
They all had a blast and we came home with TONS of candy.
Since Bryan and Rachel were in town we spent a day with them. Unfortunately, our original plans were changed when we unknowingly gave my mom the stomach bug we all had (the day before our symptoms showed up) and various people had a day of being sick while they visited.
Everyone was finally able to meet Baby Penny.
It was a fun filled week!
The girls are already planning what they want to be next year.